Leveraging the Federal Government to Grow Unions

A task force created by President Biden in the early days of his administration to promote worker organizing and collective bargaining has produced a report with nearly 70 recommendations.


“The Biden-Harris Administration believes that increasing worker organizing and empowerment is critical to growing the middle class, building an economy that puts workers first, and strengthening our democracy,” the report says.


The 46-page report outlines federal policies, practices and programs to promote the Biden administration’s policy of support for worker power. It also connects the relatively low percentage of unionized workers in the private sector (6.1 percent) with their popularity. Nearly 1 in 2 workers say in polls they would join a union if they had a chance.


“By recognizing and uplifting the role labor unions play in improving the lives of working people, the Biden-Harris administration is once again leading by example and delivering victories for working people,” said IBEW President Lonnie Stephenson in a Feb. 7 statement.


Today, worker power is rising, as employers are paying more amid the pandemic-fueled worker shortage. While the administration recommends facilitating union growth in the federal sector, providing federal workers with more information about unions to new workers and informing them about their collective bargaining rights, more could be done with legislation.


“The recommendations in this report represent a significant milestone for working people across America, but more must be done to secure workers’ rights to form and join unions. Congress must pass the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act to ensure every worker who wants to join a union may do so freely and fairly,” Stephenson said.